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#ItTakesAVillage #HeroesOfOurTime

Around the world, there are multiple intersecting and complex crises affecting humankind – from conflict to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, from escalating climate impacts to sharp commodity price increases. Millions of people have lost loved ones, homes, and jobs. Their rights and choices are often relegated as nice-to-haves – yet sexual and reproductive health and protection services are more than must-haves, they are life-saving.

World Humanitarian Day reminds us that we all have a role to play and that we can only confront these challenges together. Every day, women, young people, local leaders, UN agencies, and civil society organizations are showing the way, working on the frontlines of emergencies to build a healthier, safer, and more equitable planet, often under very challenging circumstances.

UNFPA is on the ground in over 60 humanitarian contexts ensuring that all women and young people can still give birth safely or avoid the brutality of gender-based violence. In 2021, our teams provided 29 million women with sexual and reproductive health services, and supported 1.5 million safe deliveries. We extended care and protection to 2 million survivors and women and girls at risk of violence, and disseminated information to 75 million people on health and protection. We defended the rights of women and girls and opened channels to secure reproductive health supplies and food and cash assistance.

Since February 2022, with the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova faced the biggest humanitarian crisis of refugees. Over half a million people crossed the territory of the Republic of Moldova, and almost 100,000, especially women with children and older persons, remained in the country.

The Republic of Moldova has become known throughout the world as a small country, but with a big heart, where everyone - starting with the Government, Parliament, local authorities, non-governmental organizations, families, young people, volunteers and entire communities mobilized to help the people of the neighboring country.

UNFPA, together with the UN family and other international organizations, acted quickly to respond to this crisis of magnitude. We prioritized the sexual and reproductive health of women, ensuring that they can give birth safely and have access to the same medical services as the population of the Republic of Moldova. We provided hospitals and perinatal centers with equipment, medicine and medical supplies to ensure life-saving sexual and reproductive health care and strengthened the clinical management of rape.

We created Safe Spaces for Women, Youth and Older Persons in all refugee accommodation centers, as well as in the communities, where we provided psychological support, health information and services to prevent and respond to gender-based violence. We have worked with refugee teenagers and young people through Youth Centres, the Youth Klinic Network, peer educators, universities and vocational schools, to ensure that they have uninterrupted access to life skills education, non-formal and developmental activities, contributing to their social inclusion.

Today, on International Humanitarian Day, it's time to say thank you to all the people who have dedicated their days and nights to this unceasing effort. They are the #Heroes of Our Time - doctors, teachers, psychologists, social workers, young people, volunteers, representatives of non-governmental organizations, communities, authorities, but also humanitarian personnel from all over the world who came to the Republic of Moldova to provide help - they all worked so that people refugees from Ukraine feel protected and safe in Moldova.

With crises intensifying in many parts of the world, humanitarian action is more vital than ever, to reach those most in need. These everyday heroes need our full support to operate safely and effectively.

On this World Humanitarian Day, and every day, let us work together to empower and support all those requiring humanitarian assistance and protection, and to secure a more resilient, inclusive and sustainable world for everyone.

Thank you, #HeroesOfOurTime!